Who: Hugh Jackman Role: James Bond, Billy Flynn Movie: "Casino Royale," "Chicago" The multi-talented actor reportedly passed on the role of singing lawyer Billy Flynn in the movie-musical "Chicago" (which scored Richard Gere an Oscar nom), stating he felt he was too young at the time.Jackman also was approached to play iconic character James Bond, but didn't want to be stereotyped as an action star after already earning fame as Wolverine in the first that he was offered the role of George by Jerry Seinfeld himself, who didn't even want him to audition.We always hear sad stories of the working actor’s plight and how a good job is hard to come by, but what we don’t always realize is there are a ton of actors who turned down roles during their career. Similarly, major movie stars like Will Smith, Leonardo Di Caprio, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and Denzel Washington also passed up some pretty major parts throughout their careers, with some later saying they regret their decisions.Obviously, iconic roles could have turned out very differently — and perhaps not so memorable — had every actor accepted every part offered to them, but it’s fun to see which flat-out said “no way” to now-famous parts.Who: Molly Ringwald Role: Vivian Ward Movie: "Pretty Woman" Ringwald—coming off the success of iconic '80s flicks like "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink"—was offered a major role that made Julia Roberts a star in "Pretty Woman." It seems playing a hooker wasn't in her plans, since she turned it down.Ringwald also said no to playing Molly Jensen in "Ghost," a role that eventually went to Demi Moore.Who: Tom Cruise Role: Ren Mc Cormack Movie: "Footloose" It's not terribly hard to picture a young Cruise starring in the 1984 hit, and apparently producers wanted him big-time (they'd obviously seen his underwear dance sequence in "Risky Business.") However, Cruise passed on the role to film "All the Right Moves" instead.The part of Ren went to Kevin Bacon, but only after Rob Lowe also had to pass because of an injury.
Who: Jim Carrey Role: Edward Scissorhands Movie: "Edward Scissorhands" After becoming fairly well-known as a player in "In Living Color," Carrey started being considred for some major movie roles, including the title role in "Edward Scissorhands." According to Splitsider, Carrey lacked experience as a dramatic actor during this period, so his turn as Scissorhands would have likely been more comedic than Depp's and could have jeopardized the project. The outspoken star also told Stern she wasn't thrilled at the prospect of working alongside Sarah Jessica Parker.
Who: Sarah Michelle Gellar Role: Amber Movie: "Clueless" Gellar was originally offered the role of bitchy high schooler Amber in classic '90s movie "Clueless," but passed on it due to scheduling conflicts with “All My Children.” The role eventually went to Elisa Donovan. Actor Thomas Jane passed on the role for a number of reasons that—let's face it—made sense at the time, such as the fact that AMC was a network known for reruns of old movies, not robust television series, and the fact that it was a cerebral show, which Jane didn't think would attract viewers.
Jane went on to star on sex-themed series "Hung," which aired on solid-as-a-rock HBO, but got canceled after two sesaons.
The actress claims to have had turned it down because she'd previously done other projects—including one with Kim Cattrall called "Live Nude" girls—whose focus were also on sex.
Sidenote: Delaney also passed on the role of Bree van de Kamp on "Desperate Housewives." Consideiring her recent ABC show "Body of Proof" got the axe, we say both passes were big misstakes.